Amelia’s Magazine | When Santa came to the Factory: Remembering the works children’s parties

Category: Art

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Set in Wolverhampton’s historic Bantock House When Santa Came to the Factory is a celebration of one of the most popular events organized by the social workers at big industrial factories in the post-world war two period: The Christmas Party.

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Employees at the factories would bring their children to meet Santa, play games, sing carols and watch a pantomime put on by some of the workforce. Every child at the party would receive a personalised invitation with tear off parts that they could hand in to get fruit, jelly and ice-cream (Which must have been a highlight as there was a food shortage for a number of years following the war!) and a gift from Santa. 

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Forming part of Black Country Echoes this show brings together a collection of childhood memories from these much anticipated events and sets them alongside photographs of families enjoying this traditional festive treat. Many of those children are now retired themselves and will be able to look at the images and read the stories that accompany them with a nostalgic recollection of their own.

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Community Engagement Officer for Black Country Echoes, Rachel Lambourne says “Many, if not all of the people I have been working with to recall their memories of their working lives in Black Country industry remember the thrill and excitement of these parties. We have been able to record lots of personal stories and gather images relating to these seasonal festive treats. The exhibition is a real treat for anyone who is interested in local history and also for anyone who remembers these parties.  It will certainly make our visitors smile.

Get involved! The team will be re-creating the work party Santa experience for children aged  5 – 11 on Saturday 13 December from 2 – 4 pm at Bantock House. Find out more here and here.

Opening Times: Tuesday – Sunday: 12pm – 4pm